MSE Share Index down 1% as 3 equities decline

The MSE Share Index dropped by 1% today to 3,101.623 points as 3 of the 5 active equities declined.

The share price of International Hotel Investments plc reversed most of last week’s 9.6% rise as it slipped by 5% this morning to close at €0.76 on activity totalling 10,740 shares. On 4 September, IHI provided an update on the situation in Tripoli following the downfall of the Gaddafi regime. IHI had indicated that it was restoring its services at the Tripoli Hotel to normal levels as conditions improve and on the expectation of a sharp increase in the demand for services. IHI is also expected to convene a meeting with the financial community later on this week.

HSBC Bank Malta plc closed the day 0.4% lower at €2.689 after recovering from a low of €2.65. Trading activity in HSBC remained thin with a mere 1,704 shares changing hands today.

The share price of Malta International Airport plc also decline on low volumes. MIA’s equity eased by 1.3% to €1.51 on a single trade of 1,400 shares.

Meanwhile, high trading activity continued to take place in Bank of Valletta plc. BOV’s share price closed the day unchanged at €2.50 after recovering from an intra-day low of €2.48 on volumes exceeding 50,000 shares. BOV’s equity declined last week by 3.5% reflecting the fresh wave of mis-selling accusations against the Bank which are being investigated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

On the bond market, eurozone yields retreated to 1.779% this morning and bond prices rallied as investors sought out safe-haven debt on disappointing developments from euro zone policymakers to tackle the region’s debt crisis. During the meeting for finance ministers in Poland, no new measures were agreed upon to ease the sovereign debt crisis. Meanwhile, Greece pledged that further austerity measures would be forthcoming. Following the decline in yields, the Central Bank of Malta stockbroker raised all MGS bid prices which led to a 0.3% rise in the Rizzo Farrugia MGS Index to 992.915 points. The price of the 5.25% MGS 2030 rose by 32 basis points to 102.68%. Meanwhile, on the corporate bond market, the bonds of International Hotel Investments plc continued to recover with the price of the 6.25% IHI 2020 bonds adding 200 basis points to regain the par level.